Rob Liefeld on the Return of Brigade

Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld has never really been out of the spotlight since his debut in comics, but one could pretty easily argue that with the massive success of a pair of Deadpool movies and sell-outs on his Marvel Comics miniseries Major X, this has been an especially good year for the writer/artist, who will launch an all-new miniseries updating his '90s comic Brigade at New York Comic Con later this week. The title is, according to Liefeld, one of a number of "Liefeldverse" titles that will reinvigorate stagnant characters from his portfolio and give him a chance to introduce some new ones.

Liefeld's Brigade #1, which was originally funded via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2013, will make its debut later this week at New York Comic Con ahead of a larger rollout in the comics direct market later in 2019. The issue has been rewritten, recolored, and updated several times since the original draft, and will not feel like a 2013 comic. For one thing, the issue features a sequence with Bloodwulf spewing out a rapid-fire burst of very 2019 pop-culture references that would not have been possible when the book was first being written.

"Brigade is long over due on many fronts!" Liefeld told ComicBook.com. "As one of the original 1992 launch books from Image Comics it has cultivated an avid fanbase that’s been patiently waiting for these characters to grab the spotlight again!"

The last Brigade comics came out in 2010, and the world -- and the comics market -- feels like it has changed a lot since then. Hell, the world has even changed a lot since the Kickstarter campaign succeeded a few years later. Per Liefeld, the idea wasn't to reboot or restart the series (which is more or less what the 2010 version felt like) but an attempt, not unlike what DC did with its Rebirth initiative, to embrace the history of the characters in a holistic way.

"This is an evolution of every previous Brigade comic as well as well as an evolution for all the characters in my catalogue," Liefeld told us. "Bloodwulf is there, Glory is there, Prophet is featured, Bloodstrike is there. It tells folks definitely what the current state of the Liefeldverse is. And there’s some surprises to boot."

Liefeld is also releasing the book, as mentioned before, partly by using funds raised by crowdfunding on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. The platforms, which used to attract backlash when used by professionals, have become a haven for artists whose vision does not fit the corporate priorities of the big two.

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"A few years back, I wanted to try out crowdfunding, which is essentially as I have come to understand it, participating in 'custom comics,'" Liefeld explained. "These are comics and that are available to a select few participants. While I was working to overcome several hurdles in putting Brigade together, I was contacted in several fan groups by folks who wanted to know how to participate in getting this comic, as so many had missed out on the initial campaign. I opened an Indiegogo recently and I’ve left it open and it’s been surging, especially since they’ve seen the actual physical copies of the comic coming off the press. The Indiegogo remains open for now. I’m having a blast creating exclusive variants that I’ll be featuring at personal appearances. I have exclusives that are unique to New York Comic Con as well as copies for L.A. Comic Con the week after. I’m even changing up the interiors a bit. I’m pushing the 'custom comic book' aspect as much as I can."

Fans can get their hands on the very first new Brigade issue at New York Comic Con later this week.